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Clear is Kind

More than ever, this is a time to be kind. What does that mean in our work lives?

So often, we shy away from the hard conversations. We lose the opportunity for genuine connection because we are trying to be polite or gentle, or just because we’re tired.

Brenee Brown, helps us here, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” In her latest book, Dare to Lead, Dr. Brown states, “Not getting clear with your colleagues about expectations because it feels too hard, or blaming them for not delivering is unkind. Talking about people rather than to them is unkind.”

Are you ready for a snow day? What about a no-show policy refresher?

Clear plans to deal with weather can be made in advance. Clear expectations can be talked through at routine staff meetings. It means a lot when a supervisor opens the conversation, asking how many people would prefer to use a vacation day tomorrow? Reserve the right to approve the definition of “skeleton crew”, but by opening the conversation, you acknowledge the emotions and allow for true ownership.

Are your professional goals clear for the next month? Have you given your team members the gift of clarity?

Are there sales quotas or other goals to be met by year end? If you aren’t going to meet budget, what is an acceptable level of performance? We have all been in that 11th hour, knowing with equal certainty that we will not succeed and that we have worked really hard all year and have overcome many obstacles. How about a leader who shares in the disappointment, but clarifies what is realistically expected in the next few weeks? A leader who has already had the conversations about why the team will miss the mark and has supported structural or personnel changes to support future efforts? The 11th hour (or month) provides the opportunity for true connection, for engagement, and for growth.

Let’s be clear, be kind, and leave a little room for the magic of the season!